Thursday, August 8, 2013

Giving Back

When asked about the best event from Ms. Wheelchair America, I always mention these two--the MWA Princess Tea and our visit to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab Hospital.  I love the title of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and I had a great week in Houston at Ms. Wheelchair America with all the other state titleholders.  This is not about the glitz and glam of a beauty pageant.  This is about advocacy and education.  This title comes with an awesome responsibility to "advocate, educate, and empower."  And, I believe it comes with an awesome responsibility to give back.  I was so thrilled we had the opportunity to do just that.  

After an amazing day at the museum, starting the process of forming connections and getting to know each other, we returned to the hotel for an awesome opportunity--the chance to attend the MWA Princess Tea hosted by Little Miss Wheelchair Texas and a chance to sign autographs for the princesses at the tea.  What an amazing group of girls.  After getting a chance to talk to them and learn their stories and see their beautiful smiles, I wish I had an autograph book for them to sign.  :)  They are all princesses and will light up the world someday.  It will be fun to say, "I knew them before  . . ."  Maybe there is a future Ms. Wheelchair America in that bunch.  

The other "giving back" event was an optional trip to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab hospital on the morning of the crowning ceremony.  It was an adventure to get all the wheelchairs and companions loaded onto wheelchair accessible vans and transported from the hotel to the hospital, but it was worth every second.  And, the hospital bus drivers did an amazing job.  The rehab facility works with patients with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.  We all got to introduce ourselves and take a few questions (there weren't many).  The best part was just getting to talk to the patients and even play a little bit of balloon volleyball.  :)  I learned something about myself.  I am much better in small group setting where I can have conversations with people instead of standing before people speaking to a large group.  I prefer one on one connections.  I am especially happy that I had a chance to talk to a woman who was a couple of weeks new to the wheelchair world.  We got to talk about what helped with my transition and I got to emphasize the importance of faith, family, and friends.  What a blessing to be able to give back.  This is the best part of being a state titleholder.

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Thanksgiving for today:
Alarm Clock
Finding money in pocket before jeans went in washing machine
Finalizing school list
School lunch ideas

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."
                                       Brian Tracy

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